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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys,

(Directly issue related stuff is bolded in this essay)

This is my first post—been following these forums for the last 2 years or so. Finally ran into a problem that I need more help with than google or existing info can provide. I appreciate any feedback you might be able to give me.

Alright... I've got a 95 VN800. It's been riding well since I bobbed it about 8 months ago. Removed EPA garbage, capped the carb, new tank with gravity feed straight to carb, pulled the bucket for the radiator overflow, etc.. etc.

Ever since I bought it I've noticed it was noisier than my 96 VN800—there seemed to be this knocking noise coming from the engine. A few hours of foruming and googling later... I convinced myself that Vulcans are just loud bikes and that everything is fine. It's stayed relatively quiet and unassuming until now.

I attempted to ride yesterday and to my dismay something is up.
It'll sit there and idle all day long, however as soon as I try to give it any amount of throttle it knocks hard and whimpers out, unless I back of the gas. I tried in second gear as well, no help.


I'm about to pull apart the carb right now to make sure everything is kosher in there... then see about exhaust leaks and plugs.

Anyone have any suggestions or recommendations? Anyone run into this issue before? Check out the video and give it a listen. Seconds 11, 16, 27 are where the knocking is most noticeable.

VN800 KNOCKING ISSUE VIDEO

I'm a grease monkey at heart, but a greenhorn in reality. I have some fears about getting into engine work, but I'm pretty good about being able to take stuff apart and put it back together with only a couple of extra pieces left over ;)

As far as terminology and isolating an issue like this however, I'm not shy to say that I absolutely need some good help.

I appreciate any that you can offer, and thanks!
 

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Compression test first, valve clearance check second. If that passes chase a lean condition. These 800's will not accept a hypercharger without the fuel match. Others will chime in. Good luck.
 

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hi, first, I would check your idle rpm, seems way too low and may starve the top end of its badly needed lubrication.
 

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hi, first, I would check your idle rpm, seems way too low and may starve the top end of its badly needed lubrication.
Idle too low, cams being hurt by this. Had to replace mine 2 years ago and my idle wasnt that low. A good carb cleaning may be in order. While there, see if the needle, main or pilot jets have been changed. Stock pilot in my 05 is a 48, the main was a 135.
 

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1. How many miles on it?
2. Has it ever run fine recently?
3. You mentioned a knock which I cannot hear in the video. Where is it coming from?
4. Like others have said, idle speed waaay to low.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Wish I had friends around here like you guys.

Before I got into tinkering I had a local shop look it over and that's where they ended up setting my idle... or not setting it.

I've been under the impression since then that I had been idling too high and that low was where I should have it. Thanks for clarifying.... and hopefully I haven't jacked something up too bad already.

No easier way for me to learn something than watching time and money vanish...

Carb is clean and everything looks in order.
It's been running fine except for a slight shuddering/subtle knocking coming up from the bottom of 1st when the engine is cool.
Approx. 12,000 miles
The knock seems as though it's emanating from the frontmost cylinder.

It sounds almost exactly like if you were to take a metal wrench, wrapped it in a thin piece of fabric and smack it against another metal surface—a solid, slightly dampened painful knocking sound.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey everyone, thanks for all the suggestions, you guys are awesome.
My apologies for leaving the thread hangin'... lots of work piled on top of me recently.

Short story even shorter—something I did fixed it... at least for the moment.
It's playing nice again, knocking sound/shuddering has settled down—perhaps due to my idle speed being set so dang low??? i don't know...

Work:

-Took apart the carb for the second time and soaked it, cleaned it up really pretty.. made sure needles and jets were all set properly and immaculate.

-Cleaned up my plugs (both looked slightly charred/rich... a bit funny, but it could be from running it rich in the past then afterwards jacking up my idle speed and running too lean)

-Idle speed corrected

I'll let you guys know if I find anything else or I kill it again somehow.
Thanks again for all your help!
 
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